Not sure the source on this. someone sent it to me and I've just copied and pasted. I'm not super-political but this falls in line with my casual views on the Israel/Palestine debate. --------------------
Pilar Rahola is a Spanish politician, journalist and activist and member of the far left. Her articles are published in Spain and throughout some of the most important newspapers in Latin America. Here she addresses that pro-Palestinian demonstrations:
Why don't we see demonstrations against Islamic dictatorships in London, Paris, Barcelona?
Or demonstrations against the Burmese dictatorship?
Why aren't there demonstrations against the enslavement of millions of women who live without any legal protection?
Why aren't there demonstrations against the use of children as human bombs where there is conflict with Islam?
Why has there been no leadership in support of the victims of Islamic dictatorship in Sudan ?
Why is there never any outrage against the acts of terrorism committed against Israel ?
Why is there no outcry by the European left against Islamic fanaticism?
Why don't they defend Israel's right to exist?
Why confuse support of the Palestinian cause with the defense of Palestinian terrorism?
And finally, the million dollar question: Why is the left in Europe and around the world obsessed with the two most solid democracies, the United States and Israel, and not with the worst dictatorships on the planet? The two most solid democracies, who have suffered the bloodiest attacks of terrorism, and the left doesn't care.
And then, to the concept of freedom. In every pro Palestinian European forum I hear the left yelling with fervor: "We want freedom for the people!"
Not true. They are never concerned with freedom for the people of Syria or Yemen or Iran or Sudan, or other such nations. And they are never preoccupied when Hammas destroys freedom for the Palestinians. They are only concerned with using the concept of Palestinian freedom as a weapon against Israeli freedom. The resulting consequence of these ideological pathologies is the manipulation of the press.
The international press does major damage when reporting on the question of the Israeli-Palestinian issue. On this topic they don't inform, they propagandize.
When reporting about Israel, the majority of journalists forget the reporter code of ethics. And so, any Israeli act of self-defense becomes a massacre, and any confrontation, genocide. So many stupid things have been written about Israel, that there aren't any accusations left to level against her.
At the same time, this press never discusses Syrian and Iranian interference in propagating violence against Israel; the indoctrination of children and the corruption of the Palestinians. And when reporting about victims, every Palestinian casualty is reported as tragedy and every Israeli victim is camouflaged, hidden or reported about with disdain.
And let me add on the topic of the Spanish left. Many are the examples that illustrate the anti-Americanism and anti-Israeli sentiments that define the Spanish left. For example, one of the leftist parties in Spain has just expelled one of its members for creating a pro-Israel w eb site. I quote from the expulsion document: "Our friends are the people of Iran, Libya and Venezuela , oppressed by imperialism, and not a Nazi state like Israel ."
In another example, the socialist mayor of Campozuelos changed Shoah Day, commemorating the victims of the Holocaust, with Palestinian Nabka Day, which mourns the establishment of the State of Israel, thus showing contempt for the six million European Jews murdered in the Holocaust.
Or in my native city of Barcelona, the city council decided to commemorate the 60th anniversary of the creation of the State of Israel, by having a week of solidarity with the Palestinian people. Thus, they invited Leila Khaled, a noted terrorist from the 70's and current leader of the Popular Front for the Liberation of Palestine, a terrorist organization so described by the European Union, which promotes the use of bombs against Israel .
This politically correct way of thinking has even polluted the speeches of president Zapatero. His foreign policy falls within the lunatic left, and on issues of the Middle East, he is unequivocally pro Arab. I can assure you that in private, Zapatero places on Israel the blame for the conflict in the Middle East, and the policies of foreign minister Moratinos reflect this. The fact that Zapatero chose to wear a kafiah in the midst of the Lebanon conflict is no coincidence; it's a symbol.
Spain has suffered the worst terrorist attack in Europe and it is in the crosshairs of every Islamic terrorist organization. As I wrote before, they kill us with cell phones hooked to satellites connected to the Middle Ages. An yet the Spanish left is the most anti Israeli in the world.
And then it says it is anti Israeli because of solidarity. This is the madness I want to denounce in this conference.
I am not Jewish. Ideologically I am left and by profession a journalist. Why am I not anti Israeli like my colleagues? Because as a non-Jew I have the historical responsibility to fight against Jewish hatred and currently against the hatred for their historic homeland, Israel. To fight against anti-Semitism is not the duty of the Jews, it is the duty of the non-Jews.
As a journalist it is my duty to search for the truth beyond prejudice, lies and manipulations. The truth about Israel is not told. As a person from the left who loves progress, I am obligated to defend liberty, culture, civic education for children, coexistence and the laws that the Tablets of the Covenant made into universal principles.
Principles that Islamic fundamentalism systematically destroys. That is to say, that as a non-Jew, journalist and lefty, I have a triple moral duty with Israel, because if Israel is destroyed, liberty, modernity and culture will be destroyed too.
The struggle of Israel , even if the world doesn't want to accept it, is the struggle of the world.
Excellent article in the New Republic revealing anti-Israel biases, lies and distortions in Human Rights Watch (HRW). Just a couple of prominent quotes although the entire article is worth reading:
MENA has devoted more reports to abuses by Israel than to abuses by all but two other countries, Iraq and Egypt...There are roughly as many reports on Israel as on Iran, Syria, and Libya combined. HRW officials acknowledge that ..."we tend to go where thereâs action and where weâre going to get reaction...We seek the limelightâthatâs part of what we do. And so, Israelâs sort of like low-hanging fruit.â Bernstein, however, had started HRW primarily to reach for the high-hanging fruitâclosed societies where human rights reporting was lacking. He was not opposed to HRW criticizing Israel. But, with the country already host to dozens of well-staffed human rights organizationsânot to mention a vibrant free press and an activist Supreme Court that frequently restrained government and military policiesâhe questioned the wisdom of devoting more attention to the Jewish state than to countries with far worse human rights records and many fewer self-correcting mechanisms.
During the third week of the five-week [Lebanese] war, the organization published a report on âIsraelâs indiscriminate attacks against civilians. (A report on Hezbollah rocket fire would not come out for another year, although, again, HRW did issue press releases on the subject in the interim.) The report said there was evidence suggesting that, in some cases, âIsraeli forces deliberately targeted civilians.â...But, when it issued its more comprehensive report on Lebanese fatalities a year later, the organization admitted that the first report had indeed gotten key facts wrong. For example, an Israeli strike in the village of Srifaâthe second-deadliest attack described in the first reportâturned out to have killed not âan estimated 26 civiliansâ (as HRW had originally claimed) or âas many as 42 civiliansâ (as Roth later wrote), but 17 combatants and five civilians.
With Palestinian suicide bombings reaching a crescendo in early 2002, precipitating a full-scale Israeli counterterrorist campaign across the West Bank, HRWâs Middle East and North Africa division (MENA) issued two reports (and myriad press releases) on Israeli misconductâincluding one on the Israel Defense Forcesâ assault on terrorist safe havens in the Jenin refugee camp. That reportâwhich, to HRWâs credit, debunked the widespread myth that Israel had carried out a massacreânevertheless said there was âstrong prima facie evidenceâ that Israel had âcommitted grave breaches of the Geneva Conventions,â irking the countryâs supporters, who argued that the IDF had in fact gone to great lengths to spare Palestinian civilians. (The decision not to launch an aerial bombardment of the densely populated area, and to dispatch ground troops into labyrinthine warrens instead, cost 23 Israeli soldiers their livesâcrucial context that HRW ignored.) It would take another five months for HRW to release a report on Palestinian suicide bombingsâand another five years for it to publish a report addressing the firing of rockets and mortars from Gaza, despite the fact that, by 2003, hundreds had been launched from the territory into Israel. (HRW did issue earlier press releases on both subjects.)
Garlasco was hardly a reflexive apologist for Israel... And he thought that both sides, Hamas and Israel, had committed war crimes during the conflict. Still, he believed that there was a fog of war that most of his colleagues failed to appreciate. âHe said ... âIf I were an Israeli, Iâd be so frustrated,ââ recalls one friend. âYou are trying to get people who are shooting from civilian areas, and how do you deal with that? I mean, I remember him talking about thatâthat itâs an impossible quandary for a soldier. Sometimes, they actually turn out to be kids playing on the roof, and sometimes theyâre guys with missiles.â
During the war, Garlasco had gotten a lot of attention for discussing Israelâs use of a chemical agent called white phosphorous. CNN, BBC, and Al Jazeera ran segments featuring Garlasco explaining the dangers white phosphorous posed to civilians: On contact with skin, it could cause second- and third-degree burns; it could even burn down houses. Soon, news reports all around the world were repeating the story.
But Garlasco would later tell Apkon and others that he thought the white phosphorous controversy had been blown out of proportion. From his experience at the Pentagon, Garlasco knew that U.S. and British forces had used white phosphorous in Iraq and Afghanistan, and usually for the same purpose that the IDF used it in Gaza: as a smokescreen to obscure troop movements on the groundâa permissible use under international law. To be sure, Garlasco did not believe that the IDF had used white phosphorous properly in every instance. But he told multiple people that he thought HRW had placed too much emphasis on this issueâspecifically telling one person that he had been pushed by HRW headquarters to focus on white phosphorous at the expense of topics he thought more deserving of attention because, he suspected, it was regarded as a headline-generating story. (HRW denies that it pushed Garlasco on the subject.) Whatâs more, while making legal judgments was not within Garlascoâs jurisdiction, he told Apkon that he did not think Israelâs use of white phosphorous amounted to a war crime. (In a subsequent report on white phosphorous, the first of six thus far on the Gaza war, HRW would say that evidence âindicates the commission of war crimes.â)